Industry Maturity’s Influence on the Viability of Innovation- and Imitation-oriented Strategies - Assessing how elements of industry life cycles influence the viability of innovation and imitation-oriented strategies and its impact on industry development pace - A Qualitative Cross-sectional Study on the Cultured Meat Industry
There is extensive literature on the topic of first-mover advantages, not only with regards to whether such advantages exist or not, but also with regards to their sources. However, there is a scarce amount of research devoted to understanding how such advantages are affected by the maturity of the industry, specifically in emerging industries. This research combines the first-mover advantages literature with the theory of industry transformation and path dependence in order to analyze how industry maturity and the presence of self-reinforcing mechanisms might influence the viability of adopting an innovation- or imitation-oriented strategy. The study used a qualitative approach with semi-structured interviews and a sample of four executives from four different cultured meat organizations, as well as four independent academic experts. The empirical findings are analyzed using a thematic analysis in order to answer the proposed research question and its sub-question. The findings conclude that the level of industry maturity has implications on decisive elements that in turn are likely to influence the viability of adopting an innovation or imitation-oriented strategy, as the characteristics of an industry’s technology, equipment, market, innovation and product changes as an industry matures. Further, the study suggests that regional disparities, product characteristics, technological hedging and co-branding are important factors to consider when assessing the viability of innovation and imitation-oriented strategies. The study concludes by sharing insights regarding theoretical- and managerial implication sprung from the revised synthesis of the study. Keywords:
industry life cycles
cultured meat industry
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